If at first you see Mother’s Day flowers on sale, read through all the fine print before you click to buy: online florists are advertising discounted prices but they often tack on hefty delivery fees during checkout.
That’s because they can. Demand for flowers surges in the weeks and days leading up to Mother’s Day. And this year’s spending is expected to be the second highest ever, according to the National Retail Federation.
People plan to spend $2.6 billion on Mother’s Day flowers this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Floral gifts represent about a tenth of the planned spending for the holiday this year.
If you’re still deciding whether to buy flowers for the mother(s) in your life, here’s a comparison of 10 online florists to help you chose.
This florist claims it’s offering a 25 percent discount on floral arrangements if you opt to have them delivered early and input the code 25MOM at checkout.
But if you look at the fine print, it turns out that it’s only valid for deliveries between May 8 and May 10.
Without that, items the retailer is promoting for Mother’s Day range from $34.99 to $124.99. That’s not including add-ons like decorative vases, candy, personalized cookies, fruit, mylar balloons, and keepsake gifts — each priced at anywhere from $5 to $40 apiece.
This site is offering free delivery plus 45% off Mother’s Day orders — plus an additional 10% off that was set to expire within 37 minutes of the time this article was written. Not too surprisingly, the fine print says that the promotion isn’t valid in all geographical areas.
The photos of the floral arrangements, baskets and gifts have a very low resolution that might make you wonder the retailer might be trying to hide. That said, prices range from $34.99 to $149.99 for plants, flowers, food baskets, spa gifts, teddy bears and mylar balloon arrangements.
If you only want to buy flowers for one holiday a year, this florist might not be for you: It operates on a subscription model — you end up with a lot of floral arrangements, even if you choose the most modest options.
The choices include four different styles of arrangements, and then select whether you want the flowers to come weekly, every two weeks, monthly, or every two months. The price per shipment ranges from $32 for eight to 10 flowers; $44 for 16 to 24 flowers; and $56 for 24 to 36 flowers.
This florist touts savings of 10 percent off every order — plus there are some bouquets for as low as $24.99, and many priced around $50 or less.
However, the site manages to upsell premium options at every turn: increasing the size of the bouquet tacks on another $9 to $10 for each ratchet upward; chocolates put another $10 to $20 onto your order; a teddy bear add-on goes for $15 to $25; mylar balloons cost $5 apiece; and latex balloons give you another $3 apiece. You can also get same-day delivery for an extra charge that varies based on your location.
Although its name suggests otherwise, you can buy just one floral arrangement at a time on this site, but the florist tries to reel you in for subscription with a popup window saying that if you prepay you save some money: $10 on four shipments; $15 on six shipments; and $25 on a dozen shipments.
But these discounts barely make a dent into what you end up paying if you subscribe: It’s nearly $60 per shipment, which the site lists as $35.95 plus $14 for shipping and handling. And before you’re finished shopping, you’ll see pitches for a cheese-of-the-month club, plus ones for chocolate, wine, cigars and any custom combination of them you might want.
This florist lists promotions that make it look like Mother’s Day flowers and gifts are marked down by an average of 25 percent — when in fact they’re actually the same price as always.
Floral arrangements, plants, edibles and baskets range from $34.99 to $139.99; during checkout, the site tries to tempt you with chocolates or stuffed animals for an additional $7.99 to $9.99 apiece.
Guaranteed delivery before noon on the day of your choice adds another $14.99 to your order. Interestingly, the retailer has taken a cue from Amazon by selling an annual subscription of $30 a year to cover all shipping and handling fees — that would seem to commit you to ordering a bouquet for more than one holiday a year.
A pop-up window offers you a $10 coupon as soon as you hit the site; as soon as you click to claim it, you see an additional promotion claiming that roses cost $20 less than what the competition charges — although the site sells three dozen red roses for $179.99.
On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced arrangement visible on the site appears to be a vase of sunflowers for $41.99. The site also sells an assortment of gift baskets, candy, fruit, spa kits, wines, and teddy bears — all at prices in this same range.
Although this florist has been running ads on Google promising floral arrangements starting at $19.99, that price vanishes once you click through to the seller’s website. In all fairness, however, there are several bouquets for $29.99.
But like the others in the space do, ProFlowers peddles an assortment of add-ons that include putting the flowers in a basket or vase, fruit, chocolates, and spa gifts — all of which would drive your final price upward.
A pop-up window offers a $20 coupon on your first purchase from this florist. The site actually lists 24 different arrangements and gifts that cost between $29.99 and $40.
The site has what it calls “deal of the day” bouquets, where you choose whether you want to spend $50, $75, $100, $150 or $200. Then you can add on chocolates for $9.99 to $29.99; mylar balloons for $4.99 apiece; and a stuffed animal for $9.99 to $29.99.
Get 10 percent off your first order — plus you get 20 percent off a subsequent order if you successfully refer a friend who buys roses from the company, and the referred party also gets 20 percent off. Unfortunately, these discounts barely make a dent in the prices at VivaRoses, which offers some very high quality bouquets that include unusual colors. Expect to pay anywhere from $65 to $180 before the discount.
Interestingly, the site also offers a subscription model that comes weekly, monthly or quarterly. The site also notes that it will soon launch a variation that will remind you about holidays for which you might want to send roses, with offers of 25 percent savings on orders for those dates — although it doesn’t look like it will launch in time for Mother’s Day 2018.
Are Any Mother’s Day Flowers Really a Deal?
If your only criteria for shopping around is to find the cheapest price, perhaps you’re after the wrong category of Mother’s Day gift. One way or another, all flowers are expensive around this particular holiday.
If you don’t want to pay the high prices, you could probably get away with treating your mom to something else on the holiday. Although many women find it charming to receive flowers, others might find them to be frivolous compared to other types of gifts.
On the other hand, for people who have received tax cuts this year, the expense may seem like an easier sell.
Readers, what kind of plans are you making for Mother’s Day this year? Will you buy flowers for your mother or partner?
- Costco Roses Are Red, Are They Cheaper Too?
- Valentine’s Day: Study Says Women Don’t Want Flowers
- Ten Inexpensive Alternatives to Sending Flowers to a Funeral
- Mother’s Day Spending to Reach $23.6 Billion in 2018
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